Fans of both Disney and Beyoncé have been eagerly waiting for The Lion King‘s release. In the live-action remake of the movie, the American singer will be voicing the character of Nala and in the run up to its release on June 19, she can’t help but channel the lioness through her ensembles.
On June 2, the multiplatinum singer made an appearance at her mother Tina Knowles Lawson’s, annual Wearable Art Gala in Santa Monica, California. To make a statement at the event, she enlisted the help of Lebanese couturier, Georges Hobeika who custom-made the embellished nude and gold-toned bodysuit which took the internet by storm. Speaking to Vogue.me about the experience, Hobeika said, “We received this request amid the rush of the Cannes Film Festival, but Beyonce is an artist that I have been following for a long time and that I admire and respect, so I did not hesitate for a second and went for it!”
“With only two weeks to submit sketches and prepare the outfit, we had to pull all of our resources together to guarantee we could finish on time. Different sketches were submitted to Beyonce’s team, of which they selected three looks. The atelier team worked day and night for 10 days to produce two of these custom outfits.”
Since the designer was familiar with Beyoncé’s penchant for iconic fashion, he knew just what would take the Grammy-winner’s fancy. “I wanted to do something strong and daring for her, a real statement piece,” said Hobeika. “Beyonce is one of the few women in the world who has the stature and presence to pull off wearing a lion’s head, so I knew I had to go for it. My instinct was confirmed when we received the first red carpet image of her at the gala!”
However, creating this incredibly detailed outfit was no easy feat. It required a total of 250 hours to craft the piece while 2o embroiders and an entire team of seamstresses was put to the task to have the look ready on time. Every little feature of the jumpsuit and its cape was made to suit the singer by sourcing the best materials. Hobeika explained that the base of the outfit was “nude tulle, which was accented with embroidered panther motifs and a lion’s head entirely embroidered with multicolored crystals and feathers. The lam material of the cape was specially ordered from Italy and sent to Beirut in 6 days.” Adding, he said, “We used more than 1000, hand-painted feathers to create the mane. All the colors were studied carefully to be very close to a real lion color.”
When asked why the outfit is a good representation of Beyoncé as a strong woman, Hobeika answered, “Beyonce represents independence, strength, and pride, just like the lion. She is a successful entrepreneur, a wife, and a mother. She is a source of motivation for so many women around the world, and I believed that expressing her strength as a lion was the best way to represent her fearlessness.”